May 31, 2016 at 2:11 p.m.

By Kirk Larson

Social Security Washington State Public Affairs Specialist

This year, we observe National Men’s Health Week from June 13 to 19. It so happens that Father’s Day falls on the last day of Men’s Health Week, a perfect time for focusing on health education and awareness, disease prevention, and family.

Social Security encourages you to support fathers and friends everywhere in their efforts to stay healthy. The right balance of diet, exercise, regular visits to doctors and health care providers, and overall healthy living can go a long way to help everyone remain a part of your daily life for years to come.

Part of staying healthy and happy is reducing the amount of stress in your life. That’s where opening a my Social Security online account can help. Our online services make doing business with us fast and easy. At my Social Security, you can:

• Keep track of your earnings and verify them every year;

• Get an estimate of your future benefits, if you are still working;

• Get a letter with proof of your benefits, if you currently receive them; and

• Manage your benefits:

o Change your address;

o Start or change your direct deposit;

o Request a replacement Medicare card; and

o Get a replacement SSA-1099 or SSA-1042S for tax season.

In Washington State, you can even request a replacement Social Security card online using my Social Security. It’s an easy, convenient, and secure way to request a replacement card online.

Tell dad to check out the healthy amount of features we have to offer at

In addition to using my Social Security, there are a number of other things you can do online with Social Security. For example, you can use the Retirement Estimator to plug in different numbers, retirement dates, and scenarios to help you decide the best time for you to retire. It’s available at

And when that time comes, you can apply for retirement benefits online at It can take as little as 15 minutes from start to finish. In most cases, once you submit your electronic application, that’s it, you’re done—no papers to sign or documents to submit.

When you’re ready to retire, the best place to apply is from the comfort of your home computer, with some of your favorite music playing in the background. Now that’s a great start to a healthy retirement!

Kirk Larson is a Social Security Administration Public Affairs Specialist located in Seattle and serving Western Washington.

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